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Daniel David Rostenkowski (January 2, 1928 – August 11, 2010) was a United States Representative from Chicago, serving from 1959 to 1995. He became one of the most powerful legislators in Washington, especially in matters of taxation, until he went to prison. A Democrat and son of a Chicago alderman, Rostenkowski was for many years Democratic Committeeman of Chicago's 32nd Ward, retaining this position even while serving in Congress.

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  • Daniel David Rostenkowski (January 2, 1928 – August 11, 2010) was a United States Representative from Chicago, serving from 1959 to 1995. He became one of the most powerful legislators in Washington, especially in matters of taxation, until he went to prison. A Democrat and son of a Chicago alderman, Rostenkowski was for many years Democratic Committeeman of Chicago's 32nd Ward, retaining this position even while serving in Congress.
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  • Dan Rostenkowski
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  • Daniel David Rostenkowski (January 2, 1928 – August 11, 2010) was a United States Representative from Chicago, serving from 1959 to 1995. He became one of the most powerful legislators in Washington, especially in matters of taxation, until he went to prison. A Democrat and son of a Chicago alderman, Rostenkowski was for many years Democratic Committeeman of Chicago's 32nd Ward, retaining this position even while serving in Congress. In Washington, D.C., he rose by virtue of seniority to the rank of Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee in 1981, just as the Reagan Revolution marginalized many other Democratic politicians. As Chairman of Ways and Means, he played a critical role in formulating tax policy during the Republican administration of Ronald Reagan, including the Economic Recovery Tax Act of 1981, which cut the top federal bracket to 50%, and the Tax Reform Act of 1986, which further lowered it to 28% and reduced the number of brackets to only two. He was also involved in trade policy, as well as reforms of the welfare system, health care and Social Security programs Rostenkowski closed legislative deals between the toughest power brokers in the U.S., from union chiefs to corporate titans to the president himself. The book Chicago and the American Century credited Rostenkowski with securing billions of dollars for projects in Chicago and throughout Illinois. The book named him the sixth most significant politician to come from Chicago in the twentieth century. Rostenkowski's political career ended abruptly in 1994 when he was indicted on corruption charges relating to his role in the Congressional Post Office Scandal, and was then narrowly defeated for reelection by Republican Michael Patrick Flanagan. He subsequently pleaded guilty to charges of mail fraud in 1996 and was fined and sentenced to 17 months in prison.
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